Relocating to Singapore: An expats view
Singapore has become one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links and per capita GDP equal to that of the leading nations of Western Europe, making it an ideal destination and potential location for expats to relocate and start a business as well as new life.
Many expats use the great business opportunities and quality of life to start afresh; hiring locals to represent their business in Singapore, while others personally attend to their business requirements.
While there may be many benefits of moving to Singapore, relocating to a new country does not come without challenges. Most businessmen relocating here hope to accomplish their goals easily; however the main test arises when the whole family moves to Singapore.
Singapore offers a clean and safe place to call home, having excellent educational and healthcare facilities and an efficient public transport system. The economy is robust and reliable, although inflation is on the rise which has had an affect on the cost of living which has resulted in noticeably higher expenses in recent years. Click to read more on the cost of living in Singapore.
If you’re considering a move to Singapore with your family and are deliberating what Singapore has to offer, read on to learn about the type of a lifestyle a typical expat family can expect to live on the island.
Education & Schooling
One of the main aspects for many expats who are travelling abroad with children is the quality of education and schooling. While it is true that private schooling in Singapore can be expensive, public schools also offer a high quality of schooling at considerably cheaper rates.
Initially we would recommend starting to research institutes and making applications based on vacancies and eligibility for admission before you make the move. This will allow the process to become smoother and also assist with determining what areas you need to look for housing.
Accommodation & Lodging
It is important to choose the right place to live in with the best facilities and good accessibility. There are some regulations that must be adhered to when renting or buying property in Singapore. We would suggest to look over these restrictions before making plans to purchase property here. If you decide to rent, Singapore is known for being quite costly, with some of the highest rental costs in Asia, however this is all, as usually the salaries match the expensive cost of living.
There are numerous neighbourhoods in Singapore well known for having a big expat community. What area you choose will depend on important aspects like transport availability, supermarkets, schools, and shopping districts within the vicinity etc.
Socialising & Extracurricular Activities
Singapore has four official languages, being English, Tamil, Malay, and Mandarin. English is the official business language which is also used in schools; it’s common for locals to speak Singlish, which is a mix of local dialects and English. Foreigners may have trouble understanding and communicating in Singlish at first, but they tend to pick it up eventually.
Singaporean cuisine is a mixture of gourmet delights with many flavours, spices, smells and colours. Western and European dishes are also widely eaten. Local Singaporean dishes include crab with chilli, fish head curry, chicken and egg rice and rojak (a local salad of mixed vegetables, fruits, and dough fritters) are the most popular.
The high rise industrial buildings in Singapore are balanced well with parks and greenery with attractions such as the Gardens by the Bay, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and the various botanical gardens. Inhabitants are spoilt for choice when it comes to leisurely activities, such as water sports as well as inland sports like tennis, rugby and football. There are also a number of social clubs that aimed to help expats settle in, who organise regular social events and activities.
While owning a car can be expensive, public transport is a popular and easy alternative. There is a wide selection of buses, taxis, and trains (MRT and LRT) that many choose on their daily commute. Many Singaporeans use of public transport in their daily life as there is an extensive network around the whole city and island.
Singapore is well linked to international locations via air travel, land and sea. The main airport is Changi airport in Singapore with three terminals with regular flights to the surrounding areas. Malaysia and Indonesia are the neighbouring countries and can be accessed by ferries. There is also a railway line that runs from Singapore to Malaysia.
Singapore is known for its hot and humid climate year round. Expats can expect to see rain, although the heaviest rainfall is usually between October and January, almost like a monsoon season except not as extreme. Singapore has a lovely weather usually from the months of May to July.
If you are visiting Singapore or thinking of making a more permanent move to Singapore, while it may not be cheap, the country offers a rare and exciting mix of work and social life.
It can be said that expats with find something great on this diverse island. It can be considered a home away from home with everything available in order to conduct business without having to worry overly about financing and supporting your family. Whether you are looking for good education, quality healthcare, or interesting extracurricular activities and entertainment, you are guaranteed to find it in Singapore!
Looking to relocate to start your own business? Or if you have found work already, we can help you with any visas and employment passes as required. Contact us to find out more.
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